The Chevy Tahoe is a popular family SUV know for its ability to tote a lot of people around, but I wanted to see what kind of towing capacity these vehicles had, so I decided to conduct research on many different model years and put it in a sort of a resource guide.
The information is a little bit limited because of the data that was available at the time, but I will update this article if and when I find the updated information.
Overview of the Data For the Tahoe:
Engine Choices: The engine choices for the Tahoe didn't really change over the years that much and in fact there were only a couple of choices, in many cases that you could choose from. The engine you did have equipped did make a difference in some of the maximum trailer weight ratings listed in the charts, but it did not make as much of a difference as having a towing package installed on your vehicle.
Configurations: There were not very many variations or configurations for these SUVs that directly affected the capacity numbers as there were only two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models, along with a couple of different axle ratio options and engine configurations, but it did not substantially affect the capacity numbers in most cases.
Towing Capacity: The towing capacity for the Chevy Tahoe's was pretty consistent over the years, especially when we look at the higher end of the spectrum. On the low end, there was a pretty significant difference between the later model years and the earlier model years, which you can see below in the charts I have listed.
I group certain model years in this article according to which engine options were available, which made the data a lot easier to organize and read. In some cases some of the model years shared the same metrics, so I only posted one chart that applies to all model years listed for that chart.
Be sure to read through your owner's manual do you get all of the updated information on your vehicle, including tow related information.
I did notice slight discrepancies between the metrics when I compared the maximum trailer weight ratings in the trailering guide versus the brochures but it was only a 200 pound difference, on average and not too significant but worth a mention.
The 2021 Tahoe's had their own chart, mainly because they had different engine options than we see in the later model years and the first diesel engine option, which is exciting for a lot of people out there, I'm sure! The towing capacity for the 2021 models range from 7,600–8,400 lbs. and really came down to what engine you had equipped, for the most part.
There were three different engine options available for the 2021 models and these were the 5.3 L engine, the 6.2 L engine and that 3.0 L diesel engine. If you look below with a chart you can also see that the Tahoe is divided up into two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models and there was a slight difference I have about 200 lbs between the two different options.
The 2020-2016 models had the same metrics and is why I only posted one chart below, but this chart applies to all three model years. The towing capacity for the 2020 to 2016 models ranged from 6,400 lbs. on the low-end and went all the way up to 8,600 pounds on the high end with a choice of only two engine options, either a 5.3 L engine or a 6.2 L engine.
You can also see that the two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models were listed below and there was that 200 lb. difference between the two options again.
The 6.2 L engine had a very high capacity that ranged between 8,100 and 8,400 lbs. which was a lot more than you could get from the 5.3 L engine alone. The only way to increase your maximum trailer weight rating would be to have the Max Trailering Package installed and if you had one of these equipped, then you had that higher 8,400 to 8,600 pound rating.
The 2017 and 2016 models had similar specs to the 2020 to 2018 models, but the engine options were not listed in the chart, as you can see below.
Just the two-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive options were shown in the chart, along with the max trailering package weight ratings and the standard weight ratings. You can also see an option of a Z71 off-road package or the Z71 Midnight Edition, which you can get more details on what was included in those packages/models via the brochures.
2015 & 2014 Models:
The 2015 and 2014 models had a much simpler chart than we've seen before and only had the two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options listed, along with the axle ratio and the trailer weight ratings, and that was about it. The towing capacity for the 2015 and 2014 Tahoe's ranged from 5,200-8,500 lbs.
The 2015 and 2014 models had the same exact trailer weight ratings and axle ratios for the two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options, but I wanted to post the separate charge since they do look slightly different, but the metrics were the same.
The 2013-2011 models share the same metrics, axle ratios and engine options, so I only posted the one chart that applies for all the model years. Looking at the chart below, we can see that the towing capacity for the 2013 to 2011 models ranged from 5,200 – 8,500 lbs. which was similar to later model years.
I did want to mention that there were two different engine options and this was either a 5.3 L engine or a 6.0 L engine that was usually equipped with the Hybrid models. The Hybrid models actually had a lower overall maximum trailer weight rating then the 5.3 L engines that had the max trailering package equipped but was higher than the 5.3 L engines that did not have this package equipped.
On a side note, if you did have the 5.3 L engine, you had to have the max trailering package in order to achieve that 8,200 or 8,500 lb. maximum trailer weight rating that you see in the chart below.
GVWR, GCWR and GAWR Specs...
I was able to find information on where you can find the gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight rating numbers, for those of you out there that need these to calculate more complex formulas. The gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight ratings are listed on the safety certification label, which can be found on the driver side door or door pillar and contains other helpful information that you may end up using.
I could not find the gross combined weight rating figures as easily. You will be able to find different trailer weight rating charts listed in the owner's manuals, but since the Tahoe shares their manual with the Suburban, deciphering some information can be a bit more confusing. This is a good place to get the gross combined weight rating metrics though, as they are usually listed in these charts.
A Note On Trailer Brakes...
When pulling heavier loads oh, you are required to have trailer brakes equipped on your trailer that is independent of your vehicle's braking system and GM requires that any trailers weighing over 2,000 lb have their own braking system. I took a screenshot of a 2019 Tahoe manual the states the 2,000 lb. limit and posted that below.
I did want to mention that this is what GM requires, but you will need to check with your local vehicle codes/laws to make sure that they don't require trailer brakes for less than the stated 2,000 lbs.
Towing Package Options:
There were certain charge for specific model years that did require a towing package in order to achieve the higher maximum trailer weight ratings that were listed. If you want to know what your trailer in package consisted of, you can always check the brochure for your specific model year Tahoe to see if they have the information listed there.
Below is a screenshot I took from a 2019 brochure that shows you exactly what comes in the max trailering package that is offered for the 2019 models. I do want to mention that not all of the brochures will specify what came with these packages but it seems that the newer models do have this information.
Do I Have A Towing Package Installed?
I was not able to find anything on how you can tell whether you have a tow package installed on your vehicle so your best bet is to take it into the dealership to see if they can verify whether you have one equipped on your vehicle or not.
What Resources Did I Use?
I used bunch of different sources for this article to gather my information, mainly due to the fact that all of the information was not found in one specific resource alone then I had to look in several resources to get the information I need it for this article.
I wanted to include a couple of different links below for those of you out there that want to do your own research so you can see the information for yourself and the links include GM's website, a third-party website where I got most of the Tahoe brochures they came directly from GM and Chevy's trailering guides also came in quite handy for some of the information as well.